MSC Cruises has plans for a new homeport at the Port of Galveston, Texas. The cruise line is in negotiations with Galveston Wharves and both entities have signed a non-binding memorandum of understanding (MOU) outlining parameters of a potential agreement for the development and operation of a terminal at Galveston’s piers 16-18.
“The prospect of developing a new homeport in Galveston is exciting because it represents a big step in our ongoing North American expansion,” said Rubén A. Rodríguez, president, MSC Cruises USA. “Bringing our modern, glamorous ships to Texas would provide even more access and opportunities for guests and travel advisors to experience the future of cruising with MSC Cruises and our unique European style. We look forward to productive discussions with the Galveston Wharves as we chart MSC’s future in the U.S. market.”
“Adding MSC to our family of cruise lines homeporting from Galveston would continue to elevate our status as a top U.S. cruise port and boost the regional economy,” said Rodger Rees, Galveston Wharves port director and CEO. “It also allows MSC to reach a new market of millions of cruise passengers in the Central U.S. We’re excited about the huge potential of this mutually beneficial public-private partnership.”
“Our popularity as a cruise homeport is reflected in the growth of our passenger counts and sailings. In 2023 we forecast a record 362 sailings, the highest in the port’s 22 years as a cruise port,” Rees added. “This is great news for the port and our region because our cruise business is a major revenue and jobs generator.”
Rees noted that a fourth cruise terminal is included in the port’s 20-Year Strategic Master Plan, designed to guide major capital and maintenance projects to maximize assets; optimize the port’s cruise, cargo, commercial and lay business sectors; and boost the regional economy with jobs and revenues.
MSC Cruises currently sails from Miami and Port Canaveral, with year-round service from New York City beginning in April of 2023. Headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, it is part of the privately held Mediterranean Shipping Company group.